Monday, December 14, 2009

Rabbit Trails and Writing

One of the things I like about the internet is the way you can start at one place and end up somewhere totally different - and learn a lot along the way.

For instance, this evening. I was scrolling through my Bloglines RSS feeds and catching up on a few that had way too many unread posts. One was by one of those blogging gurus, and the very oldest unread post had a link to a free ebook on how to make money blogging. Since I lost my job and my car ended up upside-down on the wrong side of the road last week, earning money online seems like a great idea. I clicked over, downloaded the ebook, and started reading it. Partway through it had a link to a list of niche social networks. I clicked the link and started scrolling through. Several caught my eye, including a site that posts temporary contract jobs. Now I have another site to check as I look for work.

I use this same process all the time as I build my stories. I start with one small kernel of an idea - a character, setting, or situation. I write down aspects that could go along with that, and one catches my attention. I explore that aspect further, and more possibilities open up.

Sometimes I have to backtrack. One of my ideas involved a captain and crew of a ship. First it was a spaceship. Then it was an air-to-surface-to-submarine ship. Then it was a time traveling ship. I eventually realized that the latter ship wouldn't work with my ideas for the captain and crew, but before that I got an idea how time travel could tie into ancient supernatural myths. That could become a whole other book.

And all because I like to follow rabbit trails.


Elaina M. Avalos said...

Rabbit trails are fun. They definitely take you places you don't expect, but they usually end up someplace awesome.

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